The Green Sheet Online Edition
April 26, 2010 • Issue 10:04:02
Change, the best business medicine
||When you're finished changing, you're finished.|
- Benjamin Franklin
If one thing is certain in life, it's that things never remain the same. We've all heard that adage countless times and know it's true. So why can't some business owners accept it? Often the number one hindrance to a company's success is its owner's unwillingness to accept change.
If a business is struggling, it isn't because the person in charge doesn't want things to advance or improve.
Often, however, the individual is in a comfort zone, and change would yank him or her right out into the unknown. Does this sound like you or someone you know - perhaps one of your merchant customers?
If your answer is yes, let's observe how learning to accept change can help you and your business (or your clients and their businesses) flourish.
Perhaps your enterprise has been on a downward spiral lately. Maybe some of your merchant customers have gone out of business, and you haven't signed enough new accounts to replace them. So your residuals have suffered.
Now, you have some ideas to help things get moving in a positive direction, but you aren't sure if they'll work. You might be asking yourself, What if I make changes and things become worse? If so, don't let that stop you.
Yes, your business might suffer a bit, but so what? It's a risk you'll have to take because doing nothing will absolutely make things worse over time.
Keep at it
Chances are, implementing your first idea will lead to positive developments. But if not, at least you'll have learned something and begun the process of turning your business around.
The thing to do if your first idea doesn't pan out is to forge ahead. Don't give up. Just try another idea. Remember, you can't stand still for long, even if you're lulled into thinking you want to.
You likely knew the importance of being proactive when you began your business, but perhaps you reached a certain comfort level once the dollars started rolling in and lost a little bit of your drive.
Make it happen
Well, you've got to dust off your mental cobwebs and take action, because it is a given that your business will change for better or worse. But if you're not fully engaged, it will be shaped by others actions, not yours.
In the business world, you're either keeping up with the competitors and the ever-changing world or you're falling behind. There's no middle ground. So, it's not only about accepting change, but also whether you'll help create it and what you will do when it occurs.
Changing your company's direction can actually be good medicine. It will spur you to refine your goals and learn new ways to reach potential clients. Change can give you glimpses of new goals you never even dreamed of before.
Think back to the 1990s. What if no one had taken those first steps to learn how to use the Internet to conduct business? What if all the major companies around the world had ignored the Web completely? How would this have affected the world as we know it today?
The truth is many traditional business owners approached the Web slowly and cautiously, unsure of how it would affect their companies.
But they soon realized the Internet is an effective tool for reaching potential customers, selling products, exchanging information, keeping in contact with associates and much more. So the great, mysterious Internet brought beneficial changes to millions of users.
Imagine if no one had invented the mobile phone or if people still produced documents with typewriters instead of computers.
Adjusting to these changes may have seemed like a hassle or even unnecessary at one time, but they brought increased efficiency to thousands of companies and individuals around the world.
Unknown changes lie ahead, and with them will come opportunities if you pay attention. If you accept change with an open mind and are poised to act on new ideas, your company will weather any slump and emerge reinvigorated and strong.
It's your willingness to move forward that will ultimately bring about brighter tomorrows.
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